Processed 23 week old Buckeye pullet

BuckeyeAmy69

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
1,047
2,612
246
NW, OH
She had severe wry tail. I thought it was very interesting what I found when I opened the body cavity. I’m guessing there were about 10 egg yolks and one egg that appeared almost ready to lay. I don’t often cull my pullets unless there is a problem so I was kinda surprised at the number of yolks. In all different sizes. I tried to be as careful as I could but her twisted back made it difficult and I broke one or two yolks. As I cleaned the carcass in the kitchen I found yolks as tiny as peas! Here’s what I pulled out:

1621D1DF-EB5C-4418-A35F-1F94DF3AA0B3.jpeg
 

BuckeyeAmy69

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
1,047
2,612
246
NW, OH
I think she had other issues too. She didn’t put on weight like the rest of her group. Also her liver wasn’t the deep purplish red I was expecting, it was more yellow. She also had a bit too much fat in her body. The gizzard was the most notable with big chunks of fat attached to it. I feed my birds correctly so I’m at a loss as to what the fat meant. She dressed out at 2 lb 14 oz.
 

Ron in Sebring

Chirping
Aug 24, 2020
38
131
61
Sebring Fl
I think she had other issues too. She didn’t put on weight like the rest of her group. Also her liver wasn’t the deep purplish red I was expecting, it was more yellow. She also had a bit too much fat in her body. The gizzard was the most notable with big chunks of fat attached to it. I feed my birds correctly so I’m at a loss as to what the fat meant. She dressed out at 2 lb 14 oz.
How weird...I’ve seen some sick and some funky birds before but that one takes the cake...I’m actually surprised you still dressed her out at almost 3 lbs after all of that.
But the liver could be a clue with the color and then all of the fat being produced...or a pancreas/liver combination issue.
 

poultryprofessor

Chirping
May 19, 2020
48
108
61
Jeff City, MO
The egg yolks are normal assuming they were attached to the ovary when you found them (and not floating loose). As one egg moves along the track, the next is growing and getting ready. It isn't uncommon to see a whole bunch of yolks on the ovary. You wouldn't see this if you processed a younger bird because they haven't reached sexual maturity yet.

https://poultry.extension.org/articles/poultry-anatomy/avian-reproductive-female/


A yellowish liver does sound abnormal.
 

BuckeyeAmy69

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
1,047
2,612
246
NW, OH
She never let her abnormality slow her down. She kept up with the rest, foraging, running, always busy. She’ll make a fine soup in a few days.
 

BuckeyeAmy69

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
1,047
2,612
246
NW, OH
The egg yolks are normal assuming they were attached to the ovary when you found them (and not floating loose). As one egg moves along the track, the next is growing and getting ready. It isn't uncommon to see a whole bunch of yolks on the ovary. You wouldn't see this if you processed a younger bird because they haven't reached sexual maturity yet.

https://poultry.extension.org/articles/poultry-anatomy/avian-reproductive-female/


A yellowish liver does sound abnormal.
Yes they were where they should have been. But since I’m not used to processing pullets, it was a surprise!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Feb 2, 2009
25,890
16,183
797
Southeast Louisiana
How many laying hens or laying pullets have you butchered? I butcher pullets all the time, typically around 8 months old after I've seen them lay some eggs. I also butcher older hens when they need to be replaced.

The yolks look right. As was mentioned they grow them sequentially so they have one ready to start another egg. It takes some time for them to grow. That looks perfectly normal.

Before they start to lay a hen or pullet stores excess fat in their body. That fat is mostly what a hen lives on if she goes broody. That way she can spend most of her time on the nest incubating her eggs instead of having to be out looking for food. Most if this excess fat is stored in a "fat pad" in the pelvic area but more fat can be scattered all over her body. Some of my better layers have so much fat in that fat pad I'm surprised they can get an egg through it to be laid. But they do.

Cockerels and roosters do not go broody so they don't store up much fat. They should be pretty lean. But for a hen laying at the time that does not look like any excess of fat at all. It actually looks a little light but each one is different. Some are pretty light.

The liver being that color is not a good sign. That is a clear sign that something was not right.
 

BuckeyeAmy69

Songster
Mar 9, 2020
1,047
2,612
246
NW, OH
Thanks @Ridgerunner for the explanation about the fat. I rarely butcher pullets and have never butchered an adult hen. The way I manage my flock makes things work out that way though. I usually sell any girls I don’t want. But this one was deformed, so the wisest thing to do was eat this one. I always process my extra males.

I do understand the egg forming process, it just seemed remarkable to me. I should post a picture of the liver before I cook it in 2 days. It was not jaundice yellow, just not as red as it should have been in my opinion. All the other organs looked ok to me. I’m hoping the extra fat will make a rich broth for me.
 

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